How to Enroll In the Best LPN or LVN Classes Near Anchorage Alaska
Once you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Anchorage AK that will provide the proper instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Even though tuition and location are significant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will cover later in this article.
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What to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Anchorage Ak as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Anchorage Alaska.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Anchorage AK healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Anchorage AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships. Also, it's important that you choose a school that offers clinical training in the type of facility you are most interested in. For example, if you want training and experience in pediatric care, make sure that the school you choose provides adequate clinical rotation in an area Pediatric Hospital.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with graduation from an approved school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN schools you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Anchorage AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- NCLEX Exam Pass Rate. Once you receive your certificate or diploma, you must sign up for and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). Enrolling in a school with at least a 75% pass rate is highly preferred. Lower pass rates may indicate that a school’s program, curriculum or instructors are ineffective in teaching its students. You can find out from the school what their passing rate is for the last 5 years, or request the information from the State Board of Nursing.
Choose the Best Anchorage Licensed Vocational Nurse Program
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most critical phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is important that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Anchorage Alaska.